The Best Fall Festivals to Check Out This Season in Philly
Fall is coming, so mark your calendars to celebrate, eat and explore your way through Philly.
It’s already September, which means school’s back in session, pumpkin spice lattes have the audacity to be sold already, and fall will soon be upon us. So get your sweaters out of storage and start marking your calendars for events sure to give you all the fall feels around town.
Most events are free to attend (and pay-as-you-go for food and other goodies). Be sure to check back here, as things are constantly changing and being added.
And don’t despair, spooky season enthusiasts: Halloween events will be in a whole separate article later this month (and pumpkin-related festivities, which are somehow different than Halloween). Looking for Oktoberfests? Look right here.
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Now in its 13th year, the Philadelphia Honey Festival brings three days of bee-centric activities to three different historic locations: Glen Foerd on the Delaware, Wyck historic house, and Bartram’s Garden. The festival has fun for all ages, with beekeeping demos and talks, live music, food trucks, honey tastings, kids’ activities, vendors, and even a guy with a beard of bees! See the full schedule here.
Free; September 8th (Glen Foerd on the Delaware, Grant Avenue and Milnor Street), 10th (Wyck Historic House, 6026 Germantown Avenue) and 11th (Bartram’s Garden, 5400 Lindbergh Boulevard).
Philadelphia Fringe Festival (and related events)
This annual citywide celebration of contemporary art and performance features over 1,000 events throughout the city. Whether you’re into dance, circus, comedy, avant-garde performance art, theater or music, there’s truly something for everyone — including kid-friendly shows and free stuff, too. Check out our preview to the festival so you can grab your must-see tickets.
Concurrent to Fringe is the independently produced Cannonball Festival, presented by Almanac Dance Circus Theatre in Crane Arts’ Icebox Project Space and the Maas Building. See the lineup here. There’s also Free Fringe, which is exactly what it sounds like: a subset of Fringe Festival performances that are free of charge.
September 8th-October 2nd, various locations.
Opera Philadelphia returns with its multi-day celebration featuring new works, opera films, and more, including Hosokawa’s The Raven, Little’s Black Lodge, and Rossini’s Otello. And since this also runs concurrent to the Fringe Festival, they share Late Night Snacks, a nightly “potluck performance” show by Bearded Ladies Cabaret.
September 21st-October 2nd, various locations.
Kennett Square is the “mushroom capital of the world,” so of course they’re going to go all out for fungus. The two-day festival has plenty of mushroom-centric food, plus live music, kids’ activities, arts and crafts, and more.
Free; September 10th-11th, 101 South Union Street, Kennett Square.
Like West Philly’s summertime event, but on the Main Line! Stroll the neighborhood for a day of free music played on the porches of south Wayne (Midland Avenue, St. Davids Road and Windermere Avenue). The streets will be closed to motor traffic, so you can enjoy nearly a mile of music (or just bring a blanket and post up somewhere, there are no rules).
Free; September 10th, 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Midland Avenue, St. Davids Road and Windermere Avenue, Wayne.
Evil Genius Beer Company celebrates 11 years with games, food trucks, outdoor fun, and a new Stranger Things-themed beer release. The event is kid- and dog-friendly, too!
Free; September 10th, noon-6 p.m., 1727 North Front Street.
This North Philly celebration of Latino culture dates back to 1979, and includes live music and dancing, food, arts and crafts, and much more. There’s also a section just for the littles with lots of kids’ activities.
Free; September 11th, noon-6 p.m., North 5th Street between Huntingdon and Somerset streets.
Celebrate the season all weekend long with free activities, live music, giveaways, a makers’ market, fun for kids, and a special fall beer and cocktail menu.
Free; September 16th-18th, Spruce Street Harbor Park, 301 South Columbus Boulevard.
This new event hosted by Kimmel Cultural Campus in partnership with the Philadelphia Orchestra features free live performances and fun activities in the Kimmel Center, as well as more than 50 local arts organizations in attendance with details about their programs for the season. You can also snag $20 ticket deals and enter giveaways to win tickets to upcoming shows. Performances range from dance to jazz to opera and beyond.
Free; September 17th, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., The Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street.
Eat your way through NoLibs as food trucks and pop-up vendors will be scattered all along North 2nd Street, along with live music and activities for kids.
Free; September 22nd, 5-10 p.m., North 2nd Street from West Laurel Street to Fairmount Avenue.
This “coast-to-coast” event brings a family-friendly fun and water-centered learning to both the Philadelphia and Camden waterfronts. You can ride the RiverLink Ferry between the two locations which will both host environmental exhibitors who will talk about preserving the watershed, kids’ arts and crafts, face-painting, paddle-boating and more. You can also explore Independence Seaport Museum for free that day (just grab a wristband at the info table).
Free; September 24th, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Penn’s Landing, Philadelphia and Wiggins Park, Camden, NJ.
Shop over 100 local artists, crafters and makers for everything from handmade jewelry and original artworks to candles and skincare products. Plus, enjoy make-and-take craft activities, live music, and aerialist performances by Tangle Movement Arts. It’s also a great excuse to explore the Woodlands’ 54 walkable acres.
Free; September 24th, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., The Woodlands, 4000 Woodland Avenue.
This new event at the Navy Yard will feature an art vendor village curated by Streets Dept. and lots of local music acts, plus headliner and New Orleans icon Trombone Shorty. And to answer your question, of course Snacktime will be there.
$30-$60 (kids ages 5 and under are free); September 24th, 1-8 p.m., Marine Parade Grounds, Navy Yard.
This festival welcomes the season with over 100 arts and craft vendors, live art demonstrations, live music, shopping, food, a sustainability hub and fun for the family — head to the playground at Jenks Elementary School for the kids’ Fun Fest featuring face-painting, games, rides, and arts and craft activities.
Free; September 25th, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Germantown Avenue between Willow Grove and Rex avenues.
In honor of National Coming Out Day in October, Manayunk hosts a weekend-long festival on Main Street and beyond. Entertainment includes live music, Rocky Horror Picture Show screenings, The Laramie Project, and lots of drag (bingo, cabaret, quizzo, storytime … all of it!) — plus visit with lots of vendors, artists and LGBTQ+ organizations.
September 30th-October 2nd, Main Street, Manayunk.
For over four decades, Germantown has hosted a day of family entertainment, food, music, and reenactments of the Battle of Germantown around the neighborhood’s historic sites. It’s a fun way to learn about the people who lived through and fought in the Revolution right here in Philadelphia.
Free; October 1st, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Cliveden, 6401 Germantown Avenue.
This weekend-long festival at Dilworth celebrates fall with live music, food and drink specials, a pop-up beer garden, and the return of the Hay Maze! The whole family can enjoy a variety of games and activities (including pumpkin painting), plus you can shop local vendors at the Made in Philadelphia Fall Market.
Free; October 7th-9th, Dilworth Park, 1 South 15th Street
Art, oddness, music, food, beer, eclectic performances, stuff for kids, and more converge on this wonderfully weird street fair. Wizard, circus performers, wrestlers … and you? Why not? The festival’s website promises: “Time will melt! Space will bend and quake! Reality will dissolve and flow through the asphalt nexus once more!” So, if that sounds like a good time to you, you know where to go this fall.
October 8th, 2-9 p.m., Philadelphia Brewing Company, 2440 Frankford Avenue.
After a three-year hiatus, celebrate fall on America’s most historic square mile. Activities will include a festival stage with live music, pop-up street performances, a family fun zone, dozens of food and drink options, craft and retail shopping, and over 100 Old City vendors.
Free; October 9th, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., 3rd and Arch streets.
The oldest design festival of its kind in the country, DesignPhiladelphia celebrates the history, artists, and innovation that makes Philadelphia such an attraction for culture and design with over 100 open houses, exhibits, and more over 12 days. The festival’s hubs, Cherry Street Pier and the Center for Architecture and Design, will also have ongoing installations and open galleries. It all kicks off on October 12th with a party at Cherry Street Pier.
October 12th-23rd, various locations.
South Street’s usual spring festival was postponed, so now it’s a fall festival, and combining with Brauhaus Schmitz’s Oktoberfest and Philly AIDS Thrift’s party (below) for a downright extravaganza. There will be lots of food and drinks, live music and performances, art exhibits and vendors, and more fun for all ages.
Free; October 15th, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., South Street from 2nd to 8th streets.
Everyone’s favorite donation-drop-off spot and treasure-hunting destination is turning 17 and they’re throwing a birthday bash in Queen Village. The non-profit thrift store benefiting HIV /AIDS service organizations will celebrate in style with DJ Robert Drake spinning tunes, a circus performance by the Squidling Brothers, and live music by Snacktime. Plus, there’ll be a dunk tank, vendors, face painting, a pie-eating contest and more merriment.
Free; October 15th, noon-6 p.m., 710 South 5th Street.
Kick off October with shopping, food, live entertainment, kids’ activities and more. Pretty straightforward as far as street fairs go, but the 13th Street restaurants’ offerings will certainly elevate your street-food experience — Barbuzzo usually transforms their fan-favorite salted caramel budino dessert into a portable, chocolate-dipped ice-cream pop, so look out for that deliciousness.
Free; October 29th, noon-8 p.m., 13th and Walnut streets and surrounding blocks (12th to Juniper streets, Chestnut to Locust streets).